Below are some talking points and activities to pass the time, all relating to today’s story.
Discuss the ideas presented in the story with your family—at home or over video conferencing. Find ways to involve as many people as possible, especially those who you know are isolated by the lock-down.
- Did you know there are volunteer firefighters in New Zealand? Have you ever heard the loud siren that is used to alert them to callouts? Why do you think we need volunteer firefighters as well as paid firefighters?
- What did you think about the firefighters helping the woman give birth? How do you think it could be helpful for someone to have a team of people there, instead of being on their own? Are there many parts of New Zealand where the ambulance would take 30 minutes or more to get to a callout?
- The article describes how busy most volunteer firefighting stations are. The commitment is heavy – regular callouts as well as training. Why do you think people are willing to make this commitment? What do you think they find rewarding about the work?
- The training exercise sounds intense – full Goretex firesuits, breathing apparatus, 70 degree heat, darkness and a heavy firehose, as thick as a forearm. How does this sound to you – do you think you would enjoy this kind of challenging exercise or not?
- What do you think of the idea that the playground is modelled on the adult volunteer’s training set-up – with bridges, swings and crawl-throughs. Would you be keen to play on this sort of playground? How might it appeal to the children of firefighters?
Activity: Fun lolly jars
Insert a bit of farmyard fun into the kitchen or kids’ bedroom by creating animal storage jars, perfect for squirreling away lollies, buttons or bits and bobs. These jars also make cute gifts when filled with homemade sweet treats.
You will need:
- Small detail brushes
- Clear-drying extra strong glue
- Primer undercoat if you have it
- Paint in your choice of colours
Step One: Choose three small animal figurines and three small glass jars with lids. Wash and dry the plastic figurines to make sure they are clean and ready for painting. If your jars are also second-hand, then give them a thorough wash and clean too. Carefully apply super strong glue to the feet of the animal figurines and place them on the lids of the jars. Leave to dry completely.
Step Two: Once the figurines are glued on to the lids, use a very small brush to apply paint to the entire animal figurine and lid. Apply two coats, waiting for each one to dry in between.
Step Three: Fill the jars with lollies (or buttons, coins, etc) and reattach the lids. These make great party favours or small gifts, simply add a decorative ribbon or name tag.